Oregon State University has announced its partnership with Pac-12 Networks to bring eSports to their campus. Ryan Currier, the vice president of Digital Products at Pac-12 Networks, stated that the company’s interest in eSports came from student involvement in the industry.
“It honestly came from observing and engaging with what was going on on our campuses,” Currier said. “Seeing how many students were involved in gaming in general and eSports as it continued to grow in popularity, and seeing ties and correlations between the competitive aspects of eSports and college athletics.”
Pac-12 will be working with the OSU Gaming Club President Thomas Mason.
“The meetings with the Pac-12 have been through a conference call,” Mason said. “They’ve been leading that, and it’s been with the Pac-12 and a representative from most if not all of the schools.”
The two plan to create events with other, local college gaming clubs.
“I’m looking forward to expanding what the club can currently do,” Mason said. “We have not done eSports for the most part. It’s just something we haven’t done, and I want to see how it goes. Also meeting and working with people from other schools will be nice.”
So far, Oregon State University has run LAN parties with 200-300 attendees in games like DOTA 2, League of Legends and CS:GO.
“We want to do bigger events this year, but are still in the planning phase,” Mason said.
Chris White is the Assistant Director of University Housing and Dining Services, head of Information Services, and the OSU Gaming Club’s adviser. He is optimistic about the Pac-12’s involvement with the club.
“I’m excited to see more intercollegiate competition and communication with other schools,” White said.
The Pac-12 has not released any announcements detailing a schedule of eSports events but Currier said to expect more news this fall.
“We have been in close communication with our schools, and as soon as that stuff gets established, we will certainly be rolling out that information,” Currier said.
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